Tipping Points, Pandora and Imperial Goses

I think a key to having a successful business is getting people hooked so that they don’t look for what you offer in other places. Take Pandora for example. I’ve been using it for what, eight years? It’s probably not the best free streaming music platform out there but I’ve been using it for so long that I probably won’t stop until 1) they piss me off by playing even more than the already absurd amount of commercials or 2) something comes along that blows it completely out of the water. If it’s not broken, why fix it?

(Craft) Breweries face the latter of the problems, at least in my mind. We’re inching closer to a tipping point where it’s virtually impossible for any normal liver to keep up with what’s being produced.

There are breweries in my effing town that I haven’t even been to yet. Revoke my beer blogger card, I don’t care. I cannot keep up with the market. So what do I do when I stand in the VA beer aisle at Total Wine? Four out of five times I grab my tried and trues. I don’t feel like messing with some Imperial Gose. I just want my 60 Minute IPA or Kalamazoo Stout.

What does this mean for (craft) beer? I’m not sure. I’m no expert but I’ve seen enough “trends” to know that we are nearing a point where the market will self correct. And when that happens I’m sure I’ll get bored with my 60 Minute IPA and Kalamazoo Stout and wish someone would brew an Imperial Gose.

Have fun this weekend. Drink what you want. Try something new, maybe.

Advertisements

The Bloodline

By all means I wanted to have a post up last week. I have a solid draft and everything. Life, as it seems to always do, got in the way. And as I sit here tonight with a couple free minutes while I wait for a side project video I’m working on to render I feel like I can word vomit something of meaning. Let’s talk about the beer that I’ve drunk more than any other the past year.

Bloodline

There’s an empty bottle of Flying Dog Bloodline on my desk. I had it last night I was up late “hustling” on this side project that I’m still working on tonight (and will be working on the next several nights and weekends). Flying Dog Bloodline for those who don’t know, is a blood orange IPA. It’s a dangerous 7% and damn is it good.

I’m not one really for beer reviews anymore so I’m not going to go into mouthfeel and bubbles. I’ll leave it up to you to read the 1,000 or so reviews on BeerAdvocate if you want to know that stuff. I recommend you trying it for yourself and if you trust me, which you should, I think you’ll enjoy it.

I typically work from 7:00am-3:30pm (+/- 15 minutes). I work in a happening area of DC with plenty of bars and happy hours. But I live an ungodly distance away so generally I like to get out of town by 4:00pm. The thing is though most of the bars don’t open until 4:00pm. However there are days when I want a beer before walking to the bus and passing out for the hour+ trip back to suburbia. Thankfully there’s a little sports bar around the corner and I have a coworker I can usually convince to join me for an afternoon beer.

The sports bar though has a small selection – the usual BMCs, Sam Seasonal, usually a Shiner, Stella and … Flying Dog Bloodline.

Bloodline is $6 for a 16oz pint or $7 for a 24oz. Guess what I’m getting? Yeah. Bloodline. Tall, please. Which nearly every time the bartender thinks I’m saying “Bud Light” (and I got served it once). I’ve now added “Flying Dog” before saying “Bloodline” when I order it.

On those rare occasions my coworkers talk me into staying past 4:00pm to go to happy hour I still want to leave at 3:30pm and grab my usual spot at the bar while they all finish up their tasks before we go out and have fun. That 24oz Bloodline at 7% goes down very easily and I’m nervous one day I’ll wake up at the last bus stop some 25mi past my house in the middle of nowhere.

That’s Bloodline to me. That’s the beer I’ve drunk the most over the past year. What’s yours?

Some Dreams Shouldn’t Come True

New Belgium 2 Below

New Belgium 2 Below

In January 2010 I was somewhere outside of Aspen, Colorado with my ex-Navy videographer coworker. We had been wondering around Aspen for three days waiting for it to snow so we can grab some snow footage for a video we were putting together. The radar was clear with no precipitation in sight and I was able to convince him that we should go out for a drink that night.

I was only 8 months removed from slamming down Natties in college and was just beginning to come around to craft beer. My eyes were beginning to open after a recent trip to Wilmington, North Carolina where I was exposed to “local beer” for the first time. Well, at this point in my life traveling to Aspen was about 5x further than anywhere I’ve ever been before and figured why not see if this place has something local.

The bar was decently packed for a weeknight. It was dimly lit and there was a bluegrass band jamming away at the rear wall. The Denver Nuggets game was on a few of the TVs. It was a close game from what I remember. I asked the bartender for something I couldn’t get at home and he poured me a New Belgium 2° Below. He told me I’d enjoy it.

Continue reading

Old 690 Brewing Company

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been a month since I’ve posted. My other project has been sucking up all my extra time that I used to spend on this site. But I solemnly swear to keep bringing you awesome content about craft beer, Virginia beer and my great beer journey.

Come visit Old 690 in Hillsboro

Old 690 in Hillsboro, VA

Recently I got a chance to visit one of Northern Virginia’s newest breweries – Old 690. I’d like to take the next 1,000 words or so to tell you why you have to escape suburbia and drive down a gravel road to visit these guys.

The Beer

Before we go into Old 690’s atmosphere and the people behind it, let’s cut to the chase and get into their beer.

Continue reading

Conversations with Beer Bloggers – Beer Coasters Podcast

Meet Dave, Mike and Toby from the Beer Coasters Podcast in this episode of Conversations with Beer Bloggers.


What did you think about the guys from the Beer Coasters Podcast? Any questions for them? What other beer bloggers would you like to meet?

Have you checked out the other episodes of Conversations with Beer Bloggers?

Meet Carla Companion — The Beer Babe

Meet Bryan Roth — This is Why I’m Drunk

Meet Ryan Mould — Mould’s Beer Blog

Meet Nick McCormac — Drink. Blog. Repeat.

Meet Tom Aguero — Queen City Drinks

Meet Brad Westmar — Craft Brew Crew

Meet Doug Smiley — Baltimore Bistros and Beer

Meet Jake Scholan — Hipster Brewfus

Meet Oliver Gray — Literature and Libation